'Riches in stitches...' at Knebworth House

From 5 April to 1 June 2014, there will be an exhibition of embroidered textiles inspired by Knebworth House, by the Filamenti textile group.  

Filamenti are based at the Letchworth Settlement. The group visited Knebworth House in 2013, and were inspired by the rich tapestries and furnishings in the House as well as the unusual architecture of the House itself and surrounding Park. Their mentor and group leader Helen Mastrandrea  has encouraged the artists to develop their work using elements of the fabric of Knebworth House as their starting point. There is a wide range of two- and three dimensional work on display and visitors to the exhibition will enjoy seeing how each member of the group has been inspired by a different aspect of Knebworth.

The rich pattern of the carpet in the Library has been developed by Susie Welch into a colourful printed velvet stole, with intricate beading and carefully dyed fringing to echo the carpet’s colour scheme. She has used the suffragette colours of purple, green and white as the starting point for a further piece.

Carola Garview has been inspired by the pattern of the original Elizabethan wall painting, which can still be seen in the House. The fronds of foliage have been richly interpreted to make a piece in crewel work for a kneeler cushion for a prayer stool.  

Each of the nine members of the group has also created a small square cushion which will be hung for visitors to see as part of the exhibition. The eight-inch square cushions are worked on all sides using motifs on vastly different scales, from  the intertwined plaster ceiling mouldings to the gothic stone carvings from the front of the House. A portrait of writer Edward Bulwer Lytton surrounded by a calligraphic design, worked by Lana Young, is one of the more intricate and inspired cushions. 

The exhibtion opens on Saturday 5 April and is included in the Knebworth House admission  ticket. On selected weekends, members of the group will be in attendance to talk to visitors about their work. See the Knebworth House website for more details.

Knebworth is open to visitors for the Easter holidays from 5–21 April, daily from 24 May – 1 June and weekends/ Bank holidays 26 April – 18 May.  Full details of spring events, opening times and dates together with online ticketing can be found at www.knebworthhouse.com